Jump to content
Tech priest support

Describe a rpg mechanic you love.

Recommended Posts

I think the boards tend to skew old. In a few years, RPGs will be remembered as those games played by inhabitants of old folks' homes.

I spent a happy weekend listening to my 17 year old son nerd-out talking about the D&D game he is running.

 

By way of contrast I took down some folders off my shelf and showed him some campaigns I played in when I was 17 :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 21-yo has been pretty heads-down with his degree at an interstate University (We're in Tassie and he's studying at Uni Melbourne) these last three years, so opportunities have been sparse. But I'm hoping he'll have a bit more free time for his old man after the end of this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it wasn't for Maptool I don't know when I'd get any gaming it.

 

Also, can I recommend Discord? Much better than Skype imo and has yet to "upgrade my experience" :D

 

We may give it a shot. Probably won't worry about anything but voice and text, since pointing a webcam at miniatures has worked out pretty good and lets me play amateur set designer (I'm the one who does the minis in the group).

 

Could probably use a better webcam, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it wasn't for Maptool I don't know when I'd get any gaming it.

 

Also, can I recommend Discord? Much better than Skype imo and has yet to "upgrade my experience" :D

 

Even with MapTool sitting there, I rarely get to game. In fact, not at all since '09. 

 

Discord is awesome. I use it to chat with my friend while we play video games. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We may give it a shot. Probably won't worry about anything but voice and text, since pointing a webcam at miniatures has worked out pretty good and lets me play amateur set designer (I'm the one who does the minis in the group).

 

Could probably use a better webcam, though.

I only use voice and text, so can't comment on how well Discord handles video. As we use Maptool there's no point using web cams. Your setup sounds great though. I enjoy model making myself, just wish I had the time :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Top Secret was pretty awful. Top Secret S.I. was a whole different game. It distinguished between Bruise (Normal) and Penetrating (Killing) damage with a list of weapons with damage ratings. It was the first game I played where there was no mention of Classes, Professions, etc. It had a pretty robust skill system with a list that could give Hero a run for its money. It was a product of its time and certainly not as polished as some recent games, but now I want to run a game using the S.I. rules as its core.

 

Special Project time. :)

 

I actually went back and re-read the rules again. Without the filter of nostalgia, there are some pretty glaringly bad things about the system. Body armor counts as Cover, meaning you take no damage to the protected body part. There actually is a profession system that acts a lot more like guided character creation than restrictive classes. I could still probably tweak the mechanics enough to work closer to Hero, Fuzion or some other game but that is a lot of effort when there are already those game systems out there.  So, in honesty, NOT Special Project time.

 

Like going back and watching reruns of Knightrider. Not nearly as cool as I thought it was back then. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Hermit, sometimes the only way to get some players to behave like, you know, heroes, is to dangle a sufficiently large carrot in front of them.

 

Well, yes, I suppose in a way its sad the game version of a 'what would you do for a klondike bar?' is all that got fluffy the kitten out of that tree, but still, I liked it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The old James Bond 007 handed out Hero Points for critical successes. Which had the (quite deliberate) effect of encouraging players to look for opportunities to use their signature skills. Ideally, doing Bond-esque stuff like gambling, seducing and bantering with villains. There was also a note to the GM to not hand any out for trivial skill use, such as flirting with every hotel maid, or spending lots of time on a firing range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my 50th birthday I planned a weekend away with friends. There were 10 of us, we got to a house we rented at about midday on Friday and began gaming, mostly board games. We played that night, all day Saturday and most of Sunday, bailing out about midnight to get home in time for work on Monday morning. I think we averaged about four hours sleep a night.

 

The only reason we left the house was to get food and drink.

 

Fantastic birthday treat and showed me we were not past it. :-). Looking forward to the next 50th in the group.

 

Doc

 

Funny... my 50th was last month, and I lucked into four of my long term players being in town after dispersing around 2007 or so. (Probably 12 long term players over the years). There'd been sporadic play over the past ten years, but we were able to have the 30th Anniversary of the RDU (Red Dragon Universe) game in FtF mode. So a campaign I started in college in 1987 had a big cosmic throw down that changed the underlying physics of the universe, where one guy was playing the grown daughter of his original PC, second and third generation heroes in a world scarred and transformed by three decades of super-sci-fi craziness.

 

It was epic and more fun than should be allowed. We are all old now, and far apart, but it was a glorious moment. Who knows if it will come again, but damn it was fun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the original topic, I played a Deadlands campaign back in the 90's and they had a use for Poker chips, and the value of the chip enabled certain game effects. I immediately took the concept and created a Chit System for Hero that I've talked about here in the past. It was an addition of a Narrative mechanic to a task resolution system, and the players have just loved it. Draw chits randomly based on amount of Luck purchased. Different levels of chits provide different effects, like re-rolls, free recovery, free defensive action, auto-hit, and even scene control/story control for the players. Absolutely transformed play, and I really don't ever want to play a system without some mechanic like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original TORG system had a Drama Deck that offered "approved actions" each round; the goal was to imitate cinematic conflict, where stuff happens other than each character just blazing away with whatever alpha strike they have. The original deck was balanced so that the effects felt right, the various actions appeared with comparable frequency, and the hero/villain advantage tilts also felt right. Having multiple options for these influential not-pure-combat skills avoided a problem I saw, which I called the Presence Munchkin, a character built heavily into the presence attack corner. It wasn't possible to cover all those actions, and the top end result was nowhere near as absolute as a maximum presence attack result is.

 

Later additions to the deck were not balanced and it was a serious detriment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the D6 System's multiple actions rule. If you want to do more than one thing per round, you withhold one die for each action attempted beyond the first. So, for example, if you wanted to shoot a gun twice and pick a lock all during one round, and you had your gun skill at 4D and lockpicking at 3D, you'd roll 2D for each of your attacks and 1D for your lockpicking attempt that round. Simple, self-limiting, and the impact is perfect for cinematic play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am rather fond of the Shadowrun 4th and 5th edition dice rolling mechanic. Rather than add to/subtract from a Target Number, dice are added to/taken from the dice pool being rolled. Example: The Bobster has a Pistol skill of 4 and has a bonus of 2. He gets to roll 6 dice instead of 4. The Target Number is always 5-6, with rolled 1's subtracting from the net successes. Success is determined by whether or not enough Hits (5 or 6 not countered by 1) are rolled to match/exceed a difficulty threshold. Add in things like Glitches (half the dice come up as 1) and Critical Glitches (more 1's than 5-6's) to really spice things up. I think it, overall, works out better than the often times cumbersome variable Target Number system from before. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's your canonical Bucket o' Dice system, used by lots of different games over the years after Shadowrun made it popular. I prefer the Storyteller System version that uses d10s instead of d6s. There isn't enough granularity in a d6 for my tastes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jovian Chronicles: has options for a sliding scale of realism.

 

Reality Distortion Levels: three settings changing how you tally successes from the dice pool - gritty, adventurous, and cinematic.

 

Cast Rating: tied to RDLs, defines who, based on cast rating, gets what adjustments and fudges - and how system shock, etc, are handled. Archvillians followed by heroes / henchmen followed by supporting cast, followed by mooks.

 

WOO Factor: weapons out of ordinance. Inspired by the endless stream of rockets in anime, and in handguns in John Woo films. The character rolls to see if they can keep firing even if the weapon should be empty.

 

Existential Angst: when the narrative gives the hero personal trauma and loss, they can drop their psyche score to -3 and boost another stat or skill to +3 until the angst is resolved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chaosium system had a mechanic that created pretty much automatic skill increases. Whenever you made an important skill check and succeeded, you skill checked. At the session end you rolled your skill and if you failed, as in rolled over, you got to add a few % to your skill. So the less adept you were the harder it was to succeed but when you did you had a better chance to improve your skill. Likewise the higher your skill the harder it was to increase your skill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. That carried over to Pendragon, too. They added a refinement of it in relation to the binary personality traits - if you fail a Valor check you also have to make a Craven check to actually be forced to act cowardly (it's entirely possible to get checks on both opposed traits). The value of the traits always add up to 20, so gaining a point in each would leave you at the original values.

 

There was always the option of the player just roleplaying it out and the GM awarding checks for appropriate behaviour, too. It's a great mechanic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×